Sustainable mineral resources management: From regional mineral resources exploration to spatial contamination risk assessment of mining

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31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wide-spread environmental contamination associated with historic mining in Europe has triggered social responses to improve related environmental legislation, the environmental assessment and management methods for the mining industry. Mining has some unique features such as natural background contamination associated with mineral deposits, industrial activities and contamination in the three-dimensional subsurface space, problem of long-term remediation after mine closure, problem of secondary contaminated areas around mine sites, land use conflicts and abandoned mines. These problems require special tools to address the complexity of the environmental problems of mining-related contamination. The objective of this paper is to show how regional mineral resources mapping has developed into the spatial contamination risk assessment of mining and how geological knowledge can be transferred to environmental assessment of mines. The paper provides a state-of-the-art review of the spatial mine inventory, hazard, impact and risk assessment and ranking methods developed by national and international efforts in Europe. It is concluded that geological knowledge on mineral resources exploration is essential and should be used for the environmental contamination assessment of mines. Also, sufficient methodological experience, knowledge and documented results are available, but harmonisation of these methods is still required for the efficient spatial environmental assessment of mine contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2009

Keywords

  • Contamination
  • Environment
  • Impact assessment
  • Mining
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Soil Science

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